NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The power of web logs and free Internet

Nevada City and Grass Valley now offer laptop users wireless Internet access. These services are called WiFi hotspots. These hotspots really come in two flavors free and for fee. The free ones are being used as economic attraction tools by businesses and communities across the nation. Laptop user looking for coffee and broadband will look for a free hotspot, like the Flour Garden. Vacationers look for towns with free access. Campers look for campgrounds with WiFi access, preferably free. On the otherhand, business men and women, with a company paid account, like the reliability and known location of the pay for service locations, like Starbucks.

You can get a list of Grass Valley and Nevada City WiFi and broadband access locations from the ERC Web Page, or click on this link.

Now the regional telephone providers, SBC, Verizon, Bell South, Quest, etc., are trying to legislate free hot spots funded, or supported, with public money out of existence. They currently have bills in process, under consideration, or signed in 14 states which limit public supported free Internet access. (Corrected 2:45 pm)

Web logger are now tracking this action across the nation, and shining light on this back room process to shut down free wireless Internet access. To counter the web loggers, Issue Dynamic is starting a web log tracking services for the phone companies. Issue Dynamic is in the business of creating grassroots support for issues vital to the regional phone companies. More details on Issue Dynamic meddling in the free wireless municipal Internet access here.

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